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tv   Book Discussion on the Wrong Enemy and Balochistan  CSPAN  April 27, 2014 10:00pm-10:58pm EDT

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pakistan instead of afghanistan. she says that the afghans have paid a heavy price for pakistan's treachery. willem marx talks about the border region between pakistan and afghanistan and iran, an area called balochistan, and the civil conflict that is happening there. this is about whatever. >> -- one hour. >> you're going to look, good evening and thank you for coming. you will look at a beautiful picture but that's willem. part of the place i know well and i recorded from as well. make a sign if you can't hear me. i'm going to tell you about "the wrong enemy" which is my book. "the wrong enemy: america in afghanistan, 2001-2014". it's the story of the war. i reported that for over 10 years from afghanistan. also in pakistan. i wanted to write a book for two
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reasons. the title tells part of it. it's a quote from richard holbrooke who was america's special envoy to afghanistan and pakistan as you know before he died in the last two years. he once said to the british foreign secretary in fact, maybe we are fighting the wrong enemy in the wrong country. it was when they were grappling with the problem of the taliban in afghanistan, the obama administration was trying to work out what to do. the insurgency had gotten so difficult in afghanistan that they had to order a surge of troops. so the foreign troops had gone up to 120,000 in at anniston and they were losing the war. it was a very critical moment, and the surge had its place and had to be done. but at the same time holbrooke put a single on it.
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they were fighting the wrong enemy in the wrong country. surely when you fight a war you have to go to the source which was across the border in pakistan and that's where al-qaeda had taken refuge after 9/11, after the american intervention. within months they moved across the border into the pakistan tribal areas. in some of these areas you are looking at. the taliban as well who have given sanctuary all through the '90s, they also moved across the border and they started to regroup. as i reported in afghanistan in the early years after 9/11, i started to hear this from all the afghans. i was following in the battlefields, you know, the real problem.
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so i went over to pakistan and started reporting there. i found talibans hiding and then they started regrouping, started getting more confident. they started moving around, and i spent a lot of time in baluchistan which is an area that will a multi-about. there's unbelievable things going on there on many levels. and there's a great control by pakistan, extensive intelligence to prevent reporters from being there and reporting coming out of what's going on. the second reason i wrote this book, it really sums up the war. it tells the whole tale. table. if you want to know the war in afghanistan you will get the whole thing from the beginning to the end. the two main themes, and one is we were fighting the wrong enemy in the wrong place. the second thing is pakistan has not only controlled this might
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has also controlled the message, controlled the journalist, and they've threatened and intimidated their own journalists so that the reporting is not coming out about what's happening in pakistan. the level of threat of journalist, and i actually ran into problems myself which is in the book. i got beaten up in my hotel room in qatar in 2006. i was warned you are not supposed to come here, you're not supposed to talk to the taliban. that was where, that was qatar where we knew the taliban leadership were hanging out or reorganizing, running insurgency. the pakistanis were basically telling me get out of town and don't come back. they threaten all the people who worked with me. the pakistani journalist in that town were told stop working with foreigners. it became very difficult to operate there. i'm sure willem will tell you his experiences, but really
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important area because that's where the orchestrated the whole resurgence of the taliban, and this enormous push against american forces and against the whole project in afghanistan, the presence of foreign forces they didn't want. they didn't want a successful government in afghanistan. they wanted to keep afghanistan under the thumb in order to control it and dominate it so that he could use afghanistan and annex or a client state, if you like. those are the real things i was following. over the years i thought intelligence get worse and worse. the afghans are really losing ground. the whole of afghanistan became incredible difficult to report from. the whole eastern band as well which was reported on fantastically was also
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precarious. it was all coming from pakistan, or where al-qaeda was still very active. i kept reporting. i get doing my daily job, and then, of course, we had this amazing moment in 2011 when bin laden was suddenly found to be in a bottle land and was killed in a special operations raid -- abbottabad. i got a phone call and i got straight on a plane to islamabad and within 30 hours drove up to abbottabad and found the house and started the reporting on the whole raid actually came out of washington but the whole idea of how could he hide here secured in this house? he wishes hundreds of yards, just a few hundred yards from atop a military academy in pakistan. so i've been continued for another -- another couple of
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years looking at how did he hide their, who knew, he was hiding him, how did he survive for so long? he had three wives with them there, about 16 children, in quite a small compound. it was a three-story house on it was small. and he had his courier and his brother and their families. so it was not sitting to then go over everything. very difficult, a lot of denial from the pakistani government but eventually i did find one that we shall be important to report and it's probably one of the main chapters at the end, which was, sorry, that bin laden was actually being protected by the pakistani, the isi, intelligence services, and i found an insider in the isi who admitted that and told me yes, we do have a special task.
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they were responsible -- one man was responsible for looking after bin laden, which made handling him as the cia might handle an asset. they call it in an intelligent speaker it was completely deniable. they will still deny it but it exists and they did it to protect them but also to use them for their own, you seem so that he could influence their own militants. he could be used as a figurehead or to control things. he was better in their pockets than at large. that was the main thing i found. there's much more to say but i'm going to leave it at that. will go to questions afterwards, and head over to will them. thank you -- willem. [applause] >> thanks. hi, everyone.
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it's a real honor for me to be talking to you, not least because i think one of the first times i really got to grips with what was going on in balochistan was by reading your book in your times and looking at things going on from scott who was there with you. i went there maybe six, seven months after that period you were there, and this region is the size of -- [laughter] montana and wyoming combined. [inaudible]
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>> i'm just going to speak with my own voice i think. i'm loud enough. i'm loud enough. this is a region the size of montana and wyoming combined into borders both iran and afghanistan. it is usually mountainous region, and a very vastly public part of the world of people who live there, they have been there for several hundred years, and until the british arrived, they ruled themselves very tribal society still today. but after partition in india and pakistan became two separate countries, they felt a little disenfranchised. they were made to join pakistan in 1947. i went there to try to understand the dynamics between the balochs on both sides of
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iran and pakistan border, but also understand why the balochs were part of pakistan were unhappy with their situation. many of them are incredibly unhappy. i traveled around in my first visit for about five weeks and met with various militant groups, many of those in pakistan are seeking independence from the rest of the country. and the example of bangladesh in the early 1970s seems to be the specter that formed pakistan when the nationalists asked for the own nationstate and essentially got it with international approval. the people from it feel like they've been treated as second class pakistani citizens for a long time now. and starting most recently in round 2005, some of them started to pick up on have their sense
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of national identity attack the pakistan center government, the military which controls the entire province. and that insurgency campaign has spread since then, in every subsequent visits i've made it's become clear that it is increasingly prevalent. the counterinsurgency launched has been especially brutal. human rights watch in particular has gained a lot watch in partir has gained a lot o has been especially brutal. human rights watch in particular has gained a lot of attention for the problems there. political activists have been picked up, kidnapped, disappeared, tortured and in many cases executed, their bodies left on the side of the road, a policy that human rights organizations have labeled the kill and dump policy. several colleagues have talked about it. but when i first went there and saw wa what was beginning to happen, i was really, really surprised about that incredible
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hospitable people, many of whom had a great deal of love for america. they hope that the western nations might come to their aid and support their desire for a separate state. that happen -- hasn't happened. the idea of supporting a very small population relative to the rest of the country and the demand for autonomy and independence ultimately for many of them has not been high on the priority list went america's dealing with drones and with al-qaeda and bin laden and the taliban and so a lot of these people feel both marginalized and also forgotten by those from the outsiders. it's difficult to report from this region. the pakistani military maintains control physically but also with the information flow. journalist micah carlotta and myself face a real problem
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eating information out of there and many of the local journalists have ended up dead for reporting about this. so i met the fantastic photographer in 2009 in qatar. we stumbled across each other and a couple years later having stayed in contact decided we should do a book about the problems that sophie people hear about. this book, "balochistan: at a crossroads" come is a result of the. i'm hoping that is something that people pay attention to more and more, human rights or positions and other travelers are now talking about it a bit more openly, but in pakistan is very much a taboo subject. as a consequence i'm not blacklisted from the country for writing this book. i think that speaks volumes of the attitude of the government towards the people and this problem. i think i'm going to leave it there and if you guys have questions for me or carlotta, we will happily take them. [applause]
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>> a microphone coming from behind you. [inaudible] there's a different talibans. which is called the pakistani talibans. [inaudible] >> i think they are the same but we call them the afghan talibans because the afghan leadership which is a more umbrella group of all the groups along the border, mostly pakistani
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computer born and raised in the pakistan side of the line. [inaudible] >> no. the pakistani talibans are pashtun so there along the border. but what's interesting is i think they have allegiance and they have very similar stories. most of the pakistani talibans actually cut their teeth. they learn from the afghan-pakistaafghantaliban. they swear allegiance to the pakistan taliban but at the close people i would just say they are all the same. they certainly talk the same. when you need them, they say we have the same names. we might do different operations but we believe in the same thing, which is a very radical islamist -- they swear allegiance to mullah omar and have this weird relationship
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with the pakistani intelligence which is they are all actually -- which the word? they are children of the pakistani intelligence services. they were raised by them. and, of course, they do have relations with others. i would say you could put them all in the same basket. and have relations with al-qaeda. [inaudible] >> well, you see people try to
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make that argument. i don't really buy that actually, but i think the afghan taliban have to be a bit more, i would not call them nationalist as their islamist or cannot nationalist, but they do keep themselves -- have done a great deal of international terrorism. they are maintain is internally in afghanistan. but i would say they allowed all the foreign fighters to live in and trade an extent in afghanistan under the regime. when mullah omar was in power in afghanistan he had everyone there. he had al-qaeda, i in you, he had all sorts, he was host to al-qaeda. he thinks along the same lines. so i wouldn't, i think semantics. sure, if you're an academic and you want to see local groups, fun. but actually they're all on the
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same wavelength. to all aiming at the same place but really which is to have an islamist radical sovereign kingdom that stretches the on the borders right across. they would love to stretch it right across the middle east from pakistan and kashmir. in that sense they're on the same wavelength. >> a couple questions for you. one is, as a journalist, i'm curious how you got and isi agent to confess one of the largest open secrets in pakistan? my hat is off the because that might have been quite a moment for you. but also just more generally, do you think the reason afghan election, i know it's ongoing, do you think it was a success? if so, what do you think? do think it's harder for the
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taliban to attack the afghan government that was elected by the afghan? >> i'm going to disappoint you on the source because the wording is very carefully crafted in the book, and for the safety of the people involved i cannot go further than that. i'm sure you will appreciate its dangers for journalists to help me work on that sort of thing, and its dangers for the source himself. i've been very careful how i have phrased it to avoid -- and there's more i know, but they said if he said more, it's too dangerous for us. so i'm afraid i'm going to stop there, except that i really, really trust and believe in the source. and his motivation. but that's it. as for the elections, it's very exciting. as afghan politics always is. i was just there just before the election. i had to go on a book tour
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before the election happened but i was there in the run up, and it was very exciting. a lot of people very motivated. i think of course now they realize karzai really was stepping down and they were going to have a chance to choose someone new. and so there's a great deal of debate even within families, within ethnic groups all over the country. i even heard, i talk to people in kandahar who said they were long lines of people coming out, people who didn't want to vote five years ago because they're so disillusioned with the security situation, with karzai, with the way the country was going. they did come out this time. so that was good but at the same time we had obviously dreadful things happen, and, of course, many of you might of heard two of our journalist colleagues got shot the day before the elections. kathy survived but the other died. that was in a pushtan an area
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where obviously security is not 100% and they went to see how the election would go, we people turnout, which people be too intimidated by taliban, or would there be fraud in a vacuum. so that was the great fear. i think what i'm hearing since the election is it wasn't -- ana was a big success in the main cities. a lot of people really showed i think they believe in the way forward is a democracy. it's quite new to afghans but they really are embracing it, but we are doing also there was intimidation and places where people didn't come out and vote because the security was so bad. the communities there, they are so fed up with the to and fro between taliban and the government forces, or the american forces, that they just say, i don't want to vote. i don't want to go out. this is sort of -- that still
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exists in big areas. i'm worried that some will feel disenfranchised, so we need to see. the good thing is that the two front runners, and it's getting everyone discussing and i think that's really good. >> the question is the balochistan nationalist, what is their feeling about their problems are being used by the pakistani state? how does that impact their relationship with a pushtan -- [inaudible] that's one. second, with a general understanding the u.s. government is pulling back, they might leave a residual force, what option does that leave the afghan taliban and the pakistani --
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[inaudible] what will be their next move no? >> i'll take the second -- [inaudible] >> the question was about the impact about having the taliban present in balochistan has had on the baloch nationals, those people who want the region to be a separate entity. the second which was about the concerns of the future can be as pull out. i will answer the first question. the province as a dividing line, pretty rough on between the balochs ethnic group and the pushtan an ethnic group, and that tends to cut through the provincial capital which is a mixed city. the presence of the taliban in -- has been a pretty significant one over the last seven or eight years. carlotta has been reporting that. the balochs nationalist don't
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from what i've gathered speaking to and don't like the fact that taliban are in their territory. there is a kindred spirit in this is between the balochs on the pashtuns as minorities in pakistan, and i'll just tell you one particular moment that really struck me. traveling to one of the militant camps, the baloch liberation army, i was arriving at the camp when the two men being led away by the baloch nationalists and the kind of asked who are those guys? and they said, they are pashtun labors. they were prospecting on our land but we will let them go but if they were punjabis, we would've killed. we don't want them on ou our la. that kind of shows you the difference but it's certainly not a very happy relationship these days, certainly in qatar. >> although i was a the tribes are very good together. and the cooperate of what i
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think the tribes don't like is the taliban which is an islamist imposition on the old tradition. so it's the tribes but together i think the passions and the balochs would live find together i think the problem is the militant islamists agenda of the taliban has greater problems. on the election, it's something i'm very worried about and it's in the last chapter of this book, but i see some hope in that i see afghans rejecting the taliban and there was an uprising that followed a year ago in kandahar which i think shows the real feeling in the province is about the taliban, the local people rose up and threw them out. but at the same time i went over to pakistan and i found a great deal of preparation and planning for a resurgence after the foreign troops leave after 2014.
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i've also seen people like kathy who reported that she'd seen militancy gearing up to do a big offensive to retake territory in afghanistan, reestablish presence and influence. and i think they would love to return to training camps and a whole taliban era. one of them, i went to the haqqani -- the islamist wave, and they said the white flag of caliban will fly again in kabul. they are really set on the. i think it's a dangerous because i think pakistan will support that. i think they'll continue to push because they see that as their way of controlling their security area. they see afghans in the backyard and so one. son bac[inaudible]
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spent i think what they like is the taliban to control the posh can belt and create a lot of chaos and and nobody else can come in and so it can be a pakistan area of influence. whether they'll actually, i don't know if they will stage an attack once as they did in those days. they might get clever this time and try and do it, they're trying to do i through underhand influence. have already started threatening people in the cities, including northern alliance people telling them it's in your interest to cooperate, or look at all these assassinations that happen. i think i might try a more sophisticated campaign than actual, in those days they staged offensive against the cities to try to take them. i think they might try and do it. they are deathly making a big pitch to regain their supremacy over afghanistan because they
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see the western forces and nato leaving. >> you said that isi supported you, that isi is basically behind the taliban, the pakistan taliban. and, obviously, isi is controlled by the army, part of the army. so my question is, so are you saying that pakistan army is the right any? one. and, number two, whether they are the right enemy or not they are behind all the chaos, what's going on and what could happen again in afghanistan, like army wants afghanistan as their strategic partner or something like that? understanding all that, why does u.s. keep supporting army and
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having dialogue with the army and not the government? i mean, everybody knows it. i don't understand the reason. >> well, this is really also why i wrote the but because they're still a lot of debate inside the military, but particularly inside between parts of the american government, between the military, the military mostly know because the underground, they mostly know what's going on. when you talk to them they are actually the most frank. cia has its own opinion, and the diplomats tend to say no, no, no. there's no proof. they're not supporting the taliban. you've got this model inside the american executive -- model. which is troubling and i think it causes this strange foreign policy, but you've also got this
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argument which they all come out with come which is we must engage pakistan rather than imposed sanctions and cut them off. because in the '90s we did impose sanctions. because of the nuclear issue, pakistan was developing a nuclear weapon and so they were cut off from sanctions and to seen as a disastrous decade when there was no military to military contact. there was very little, even financial aid going to pakistan. pakistan went more in the opposite direction, anti-western and uncooperative. so the argument is engage and will have a better time of it. my argument is, we are engaging come spending a lot of money and getting nothing back. and actually pakistan is thundering along in the opposite direction. it's creating passionate increase its nuclear arsenal and telling people in balochistan which is really a war crime what
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they're doing in balochistan. the level of killings and so on is really comparable to any genocide in a lot of countries. i'm not saying a genocide because that will -- but it is really comparable. and in what they're doing in afghanistan i shall tens of thousands of people dying, a lot of american and nato soldiers getting killed. the whole country with ieds from fertilizers from pakistan factors. they really has control and its extraordinary. you are right, i agree with you, the why is america doing this. their argument is, if we didn't engage come if we didn't try to persuade, it would be even worse. mainly the idea is that more radical people and possibly even bin laden would get hold of a nuclear weapon. i don't buy that. i think that's lazy thinker i
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think that's sloppy and i think it's time that a diplomat, and i'm actually from britain, europe and nato are just as guilty, much, much smarter way of dealing with it and using the leverage we have to the immense financial system program to actually get a better result. [inaudible] >> if you are in charge of military you would do exactly what was done now? [inaudible] but in which military are you talking about? [inaudible] spent the american military should remain -- but this is very important. [inaudible] >> okay, so it's not the military, okay. the national security council --
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[inaudible] >> this is the view, that we are the best bet. if something happens to the army, -- [inaudible] >> i feel you are wrong. >> i understand. [inaudible] spent hang on, hang on. these are democracies. that might be the military thinking but it's not necessarily, it doesn't have to be speeded i'm just telling you what i -- >> right. but they're not really the people who -- [inaudible] >> okay. [inaudible]
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>> it's very disappointing. i found as reported it's been difficult to get stories into my on paper. occasionally i will do a reporting trip and that will get the story. but i can't go out there very often because it's one of those very forgotten places and very forgotten wars. i think the same comes with the administration. it's something -- they have put tmentioned occasion that i know when they have the talks but it's very low down the list. >> i think what carlotta was and with the crimes being committed there again, the people living there, you know, all around the world when those crimes are reported widely in of and attention is brought to bear on them, they typically outside
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parties, whether that be the united states or european union, will feel obligated to be involved. and i think one of the strengths of pakistan's military and intelligence agency has been to really control that information flow and to minimize these deaths. there's been thousands, thousands of kidnappings of very ordinary people for the most part and many of them have ended up dead and there are bodies being found almost every week now. the idea that that's not being very widely reported because it is a difficult both to integer editors but also to get access means that it's less likely that outside powers will intervene. >> yeah, and then -- [inaudible] >> is a low down the priority list. there's so may other things that are more concerned about. unfortunately, for the people living in balochistan, that includes the relationship with the military we talked about here, that includes policies on drone strikes, the continued
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presence of u.s. forces in afghanistan. they had to worry about that more in some ways than they do about the people in balochistan. [inaudible] >> what would the consequences do you think would be for the rest of the region? how vital is the isi talks going on? >> it's an unstable area but i believe if pakistan changed its policy of supporting the taliban, i think we would suddenly have peace in afghanistan. i think it's as important as that. the taliban is not popular. i think the election showed the. certainly the uprisings that happening in various provinces show that. people are sick and tired of the taliban and they want, they just
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want to follow a normal democratic life. that's why they all tell you, why aren't you going to the heart of the problem? i think it's the finest, the money, the support. and then, of course, you still have lots of men with guns, lots of young men who are unemployed. you've got to get into a lot of post-conflict work, and i think afghan has huge problems besides that. it can't support itself. it's got huge puppy, it's got corruption. but they think they could start to work on that. i think it's huge. i also think pakistan if they stopped supporting and running these proxy wars to get start to get a grip on their own problems. i think it's time, it would be difficult but it's time to in that session with trying to
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manage their own defense to these proxy militant groups. >> i just want to thank you for highlighting balochistan as you have in your book, and also wanted to mention that i'll argue, do you have any photographs or any mention of some of the balochs nationalists leaders, some the things that come recently, some of the traditional ways that normally that would tribal issues like people are bearing women alive and justifying it in parliament? i saw pictures, so the photographs of the making people walk on calls to see if they're telling the truth or not, did you come across any -- [inaudible] that was andrew issues going on
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in balochistan? >> balochistan and the balochs have been a very tribal society but even today in some of the more remote regions -- someone close that. one of the more remote regions tribal leadership still controls many aspects of people's lives there and a lot of these tribal leaders have not been kind to members of their own tribes. there's still a huge amount of under age marriage going on. images in the treatment of women and some of the more remote regions is pretty despicable. this is i would say one of the main arguments advanced by the pakistan's central government and the military about why balochistan in their minds require a heavy military presence to protect the people
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from their own historic leaders, these tribal leaders. many other people in the last remote regions reject that wholeheartedly, and i think it's very difficult to generalize, but as a complex situation that play between the old tribal allegiances and the more modern self identification of baloch nation, if that makes sense. [inaudible] >> women being buried alive -- [inaudible] >> some of the other things that go on around the area. >> i think with one of the more famous leaders carlotta interviewed, in the book was the progress we tried to show quite how much to exist in his area before he was killed by the pakistan military. people there did essentially worship him as a minor deity.
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decisions would relate to the copyright, the kinship arguments. so yeah, we do try and explain that in the book through our photographs and the writing. [inaudible] >> in your book have you covered some of the relationships between -- [inaudible] one of the original sponsors on the council works and the role they played in the territory, and when it's talking of the isi and the only come with all the trouble going on in the country know where you have militant groups are killing people, thousands of osha offices, citizens, groups questioning the very constitution and the being of the country itself, today, there's no sort of security in the country and a war going on there was the sort of motivation
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that they have for the people in the country of justifying supporting elements which are against the state and its very existence? >> so, i touch on the narcotics issue but i don't go into it in great deal. it's there, but i don't know a great deal into the funding partly because my great friend has written a really good book which you can go and find on that to thank him as she talks about that. i touch on them as being the original sponsors of the taliban. what was the next questions. was the next question was about the poorest anti-state elements among among people. is that a fair -- >> or have a talibans wins support. i would say, it varies through
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the years. at the beginning a talibans actually came back and they came back with such force, they were defeated and they came back, they researched. and about 2006 and they managed to have a message with the foreigners are living or the for norse are no good. -- the foreigners are not good. resistance among the people, okay, they are back. we've got to listen to the. it was that sort of movement. and then actually that failed and to turn into a big fight at the taliban became much more rigid in have a forced commit acts of force people to support them through intimidation and through threats. and then come but they also used some quite clever propaganda that the foreigners here don't trust them, they're only here to gain our natural resources, or to do other things. don't believe them when they say
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they're going to be a -- aid and education. they spread a lot of quite clever but insidious propaganda. and i think sometimes that works, especially with the sort of foreigners are up to no good, they're infidels, they don't have your best interest at heart. some of that worked, but in the end i think what was most interesting was the region's where they have risen up against the taliban, it's really because they have been angry at the danger, the insecurity that is greater by the taliban, the ieds, the minds. but also they realized the community is through ostracized and not getting the aid and not benefiting from the jobs and the development. so they start to resent the taliban because of that, because the taliban make it -- the aid agencies can't come in and do
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development. so people started to really suffer because of the poverty and they started to get very angry that the taliban prevented them from doing even -- one of the men i interviewed he had eight sons who help in the uprising and it's just last year, february 2013, and he said none of my sons has been educated and they are only, they have been living to the taliban era and now to the karzai era, and the youngest one is 20. so they should have all been in school this time, and he said none of them went to school and he lived in an area of constant taliban-american push and pull. he and they are really angry about that now. and so that i think that over the years became a very important part of the push and pull with the taliban between the local people.
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they started to see that the taliban -- [inaudible] does that make sense of? >> do you mind if we take a couple more questions? >> sorry, i'm long winded. [inaudible] split tees asking whether the balochs nationalists received support from the indian government which is one of the accusations often leveled against them by the pakistani authorities. and in all the instances where i've met with these groups, i've seen no evidence of that. these are not guys who seem to get a great deal of money from anyone frankly if you're living in very, very difficult basic conditions and very remote mountains, valleys, offered
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many, many miles from nearby settlements to they've gotten very, very old weaponry and their living off maybe some home baked bread and that's about it. but i've never seen any evidence of that at all. >> certainly they are very poor, no doubt about it. i think from what i understand is there's enough baloch dias brought to channel money. i think that's are mostly they get their help. >> any of the questions? -- other questions? spent it's great to see identified -- [inaudible] but isi was also the right friend to u.s.
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so how do you think -- [inaudible] >> the way i see it, is more that the pakistan understood how it could run an insurgency. they learned ended with america so well, in fact, against the soviets. they funneled all the money from saudi and american commandos really very successful. the soviets have a hard time and eventually withdrew. and then i see the pakistanis thinking, let's continue, we were on a good thing. we're working, as you know, move into kashmir, and i met a
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militant later who was training people from all over, both in kashmir and in afghanistan. he even went to chechnya, bosnia, and he was training, he was on a worldwide trip. and i think that was all sponsored by the pakistani military. so i think that that we're on a good ticket, let's continue, let's try another place to do it. that's why think it got out of control and that's what i think a civilian government would have said hang on, what are our aims? where our aims? where are we going with this? bathymetry thought let's keep doing it. we are good at this. we not to do. couldn't stop, couldn't bear to give it up even when 9/11 happened. is other prot├ęges and they want to see them succeed in this
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think they still do. that's how i see it more. [inaudible] >> do we have other questions? yes, please. [inaudible] >> from my experience there is a huge amount of interaction in the border region between the balochs and both sides of the border. many of them have tribal ties, many of them have immediate family and in the very fist in the of the border, people live on one side and work on the other. it's like commuting from new jersey tenure in some ways. some of the larger tribal groups have a presence hundreds of miles apart because the balochs are such a nomadic people and you have tribes in a major iranian city and venue of ask
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other members of the tribes in quetta. so there's great deal of interaction the entrance of the militancy, there's not so much. the movement by balochs nationalists in pakistan, the ones i've spoken to about it at least, strongly reject some of the ideologies of their iranian balochs brother and as it were who tend to be a lot more religiously inspired in their motivations, then a group that is cut taken a few iterations of a separate years am i first started reporting it, and they see themselves from a site see themselves from the second temple, they really self identify as sunni and the predominantly shia iran. so that ideology is a very alien for a lot of the balochs nationalists to tend to be a lot more sexual is minded. hope that helps. >> you discussed the other day about --
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[inaudible] what do you think whether it's pakistani connection to his disappearance and how much it will affect? >> very good question. i'm not sure if everyone understands that, but the peace talks with the afghan government and the afghan taliban, and we just heard, i was just in kabul recently and karzai was complaining, president karzai, that america was intervening and trying to prevent his peace talks with the afghan taliban. the main character in these latest peace talks was a man who seemed to have been detained by the united arab emirates just after he had some talks with
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afghan officials. i don't know actually much more here than when we were talking, but everything seems to point to the fact that it was not the americans. i haven't talked to american officials and they said it wasn't of them, or it wasn't america. was people have pointed out that the pakistanis did ask to meet him while he was in dubai. into their tracking his movements and they were aware he was there. but at the moment is just a position that they were behind his detention. certainly i know a lot of afghans, and pakistanis actually, who are very concerned about the close relationship between pakistan and united arab emirates. they feel insecure a people who are on the run or people who are worried about arrest. i wouldn't put it past but i
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don't actually know. >> as for the peace talks, i've never thought they're going anywhere quite frankly. certainly the taliban -- i don't think, i think their control. i think they are under, they are in difficulty because of the families are still in pakistan but they can't really act as independent actors. also, you know, in afghanistan all the new people running for president, all the front runners, they are not interested in peace talks. they want to fight the taliban. and most pakistan -- they don't want to see the taliban come back and start getting nice plum jobs and a great deal of influence. i don't think peace talks are going to progress very quickly this year, especially with the new elections.
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i just don't think it's going to happen. so that's my 2 cents. okay, i think it's time for a drink it, right? [laughter] [applause] >> thank you very much. [inaudible conversations] >> very nice to meet you. fantastic. how have you been? >> can i have to? >> yes. >> we would like to for me. tweet us or feedback here's a look at some books that are being published this week.
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